In a world where everyone loves simple recipes, we have the difficult task of telling you that nothing is simple. If the reader wants to feel happy, he will have to work hard on himself, because only psychotherapists and plastic surgeons can work on others. Let’s not deceive the reader and tuck in easy ways to change lives. There are no such things.
This applies to articles on the topics of psychology, relationships, parenting, health, and personal finance.
Table of Contents
What articles on psychology usually look like
A typical article on relationships and personal happiness look like this:
How to learn to be friends
Friendship is a prerequisite to feeling good about life because if you have friends, you always have someone to talk to about important things, go on trips and ask for help. For example, when you have problems with your studies in college, you can turn to your friend or the WritingAPaper service to get help. The specialists of the service do a great job with all academic assignments. And your friend will support you in a difficult moment. Unfortunately, the happiness of friendship does not reach everyone, and some people find it too difficult to maintain friendships, although they want to. Here are some tips for readers who lack friends.
Don’t cling to the old
Often people begin to look for friendships among those with whom they have known for a long time: classmates, classmates. But it turns out that they have become people from different worlds so long ago that maintaining these relationships requires too much effort. Over time, these friendships fall apart, and the person is disappointed again. To avoid this happening, it is better to look for friends among those who are close to you in the interests: likes to travel, read the same books, play tennis with you. In areas close to you is easier to find true like-minded people and make friends, because there is always a common theme for conversation.
Any friendship is lost without face-to-face meetings and joint adventures. If an acquaintance invites you for a walk, go to the movies or a cafe, or go scooting, make time for it! First, it’s always fun, and secondly, you will accumulate joint memories that are so nice to discuss when you meet again or post on Instagram and celebrate each other.
Remember, a friend is a friend in need
Of course, none of us wants to be in a difficult situation, but after all, life is so unpredictable: today we have everything good, and tomorrow – dumped our partner or fired from work. If you are interested in friendship, you need to be ready to come to the rescue in a difficult moment. Sometimes it’s difficult, but remember that friendship is a reciprocal process, which means that when you need support, there will be people who will give it. Yes, not all of them. But if you help your friends, you’ll increase your chances of getting help from them, too.
Such articles are produced by publications in all seriousness, even though they are put together in fifteen minutes. That’s not our way, so let’s move on.
What’s wrong here?
This article will not harm, that is, its existence in the world is generally harmless. If it were a health article with unproven advice, it would be bad. And as it is, this kind of material comes out in the world every day, and readers once again can’t make friends, but they’re not used to it. But let’s try to do some good.
First, let’s break down what’s wrong with this article.
The article is impossible to apply to live. It tells the right things, and it even tries to explain them, but it doesn’t tell you exactly how to use those tips.
I don’t know a person who thinks you should be friends with people with whom you have no common interests or that you should be hard to get along with. But how do you change that? I have a family and a job, no hobbies, and no time for them. Am I doomed? Okay. For example, I even go dancing. But I do not like people at them, I am shy to engage in conversation, I get lost, and do not know how to behave. How do I find a friend there?
That is, the article’s thoughtless, superficial reasoning raises more questions than it answers.
Complex advice is disguised as simple. This article presents everything as if the reader only has to take and try each tip and everything will work out at once. And that’s a big deception.
In reality, no person in the world can become light on their feet in an instant after reading this article. If I’m an owl and I like to stay at home, it takes a lot of work on myself to change that, and that could be the subject of a separate article, and it should look something like this:
If a person likes to stay at home, that’s okay, then he’s fine at home. But if he sits at home most of the time, there may be more serious reasons for the problem than just the lifestyle.
An extreme case is if the person has been a victim of violence and is afraid to leave the house afterward. In this case, only working with a specialist can correct the problem.
Fears do not necessarily arise in victims of violence. Sometimes people just feel uncomfortable when they leave the house, but usually, there is a reason for it. For example, a person works remotely and only goes outside for a while to walk his dog. The rest of the time he does everything at home: getting grocery deliveries, working, and chatting with friends on zoom. Then a walk around town without a dog will make him feel uncomfortable. This usually goes away on its own with time, but at first, it’s best to do something that will create a sense of security: warn your family where you went and give them a geo-position; choose a well-lit and crowded route; don’t listen to music with headphones on your walk.
Another reason why people don’t go out is that there’s no reason. They just don’t understand why they need to go out if food is brought with delivery, and there are movies on the computer, and in general, there is always something to do at home, and entertainment outside still needs to be invented. In this case, it helps to keep a list of interesting places and keep track of events.
No love for the reader. If the author is driven by a sincere love for the reader, caring appears in the article. And caring is the ability to foresee something, to come to the rescue before it is even asked for, without being intrusive.
If I love a reader, I will foresee that he is in a difficult situation and throw him a lifeline. If I write articles like this, I imagine the most unhappy person who will come across my article and try to write something for them.
In an article about friendship, for example, I can imagine a young woman who has been on maternity leave for four years, during which time she has lost all her friends, spent all her time with her children, and is so behind at work that there are no topics of conversation with her colleagues. Most likely, she does not need friendship, but at least situational communication and the opportunity to share experiences. And then I realize that yes, exactly, because friendship is a broad concept in general, and first it is not a bad idea to understand what it is at all. Then the article goes something like this:
Everyone puts something different into the concept of friendship, and as a rule, friendships turn out to be long-lasting where this understanding is the same on all sides. Imagine that two girls meet at a swimming pool class. It turns out that they both came to learn to swim at an adult age, live near each other, and have common interests. They start communicating and sometimes see each other even outside the pool, just going for a walk. At the same time, one girl will call it friendship and relatives will say: “Yes, I met my friend yesterday. And for the second meaning of the word “friendship” will be more complicated, for her it will be important to go through a trial together or to communicate for several years, and only after that she will be able to talk about the other “friend”.
First, let’s define what friendship means to you in general. There are a million options:
Sending each other chat memes;
Communicating regularly, calling each other, and sometimes seeing each other;
Doing some common thing together, a project;
To share personal things, to ask for advice;
Receive emotional support.
From this, we understand how to act. It may turn out that it is not necessary to look for a friend at all, but for a therapist. For example, if a person wants to complain about life, but does not want to listen to the complaints of others. Or he or she is afraid of getting the wrong reaction in response.
There is a new level of depth to the article. It is as if I recognize this question as complicated, I give it the right to be so and consider it from this position: not just to give advice, but first to study the material and then to seek a solution.
It began by introducing me to the most unhappy reader. And the point is not to write directly for him, but to get into his position, to look at the topic of the article from his point of view: what are his concerns? Why isn’t it working? And what would he like? And then we have something to think about.
How, then, is it right?
The solution is to write deep, complex articles, not to feed the reader empty advice, to get into the reader’s shoes, and to give examples.
Another solution is to call in such articles from practicing experts. Often it should be a psychologist, who will cite three case studies for each piece of advice. Sometimes the expert can be a patient who has got rid of some problem, can talk about his experience, and at the same time explain the situation more broadly that others have it differently, and his experience may not correspond to general practice.